The Enmity of Scolrys, Part XXII: A Giant Awakened

As if stoked by an invisible hand, the sentinel’s furnace-heart roared to life. Embers and sparks scattered from the slitted grate guarding its burning lifeforce, granting it the energy to rise and turn its filigreed head towards the source of violence. The masterful network of runes scrawled upon its body began to light up and shift through varying hues before settling upon a burning, bloody glow.

“Intruders detected,” the sentinel intoned to its Spirean masters. “Engaging defensive protocols. All combat restrictions withdrawn. Lethality allowance: unfettered. Allocating all force to territorial defense.”

Set to a rushed pace, the sentinel worked through an ambulatory frenzy as it charged through the Theocracy’s streets in search of its foes. It paused at the end of one street, its burning eyes settling upon Agranoth and Amitivis, the tattered remains of researchers, farmers, and common cityfolk scattered between them. Without so much as a hiss, the Fang of Vengeance departed the scene of their collective crime, his thirst for conclavist blood not yet sated.

With little fanfare, Agranoth wove webs and shining, sable strands that flooded the Theocracy’s streets with impediments that it navigated with natural, predatory ease. Restricted by these sticky obstructions, the sentinel meandered into the heart of Agranoth’s demesne and assumed a defensive stance. Wheresoever the spider lashed out, the bronzework giant responded in kind, its massive fists hammering hilunute armour so hard that the shock reverbated down to the massive spider’s appendages. Utilising the massive furnace at its heart, the sentinel scattered embers and sparks that set Agranoth’s web aflame. Acrid fumes wafted up from the heart of battle’s crucible as the spider lunged forward and jammed some of its sharp limbs into the sentinel’s points of articulation, intent upon tearing away an arm or leg.

Unwilling to be bested, the sentinel grabbed Agranoth up in its metallic hands and spun in a circle so perfect as to intrigue the Archivium were they not preoccupied, its grasp releasing as it completed a full revolution. Agranoth sailed through the air and deployed more darkened filaments to bring its velocity to a shuddering halt, its many legs writhing ceaselessly in an expression of frustration. It launched itself from the side of a building, intent upon engaging with the sentinel once more. Locked now in a deathly struggle, sentinel and spider grappled in a tangle of metal and chitin. Shadowy webs and firelit fumes entwine, obscuring the battle from mortal eye.

As Agranoth battled the sentinel, the citizens of Spinesreach gathered together to ward away Amitivis. Doing frightful battle with the colossal serpent with the aid of their dragonling scouts, the conclavists proved their tenacity after finding their footing amidst this battle of breathtakingly large beasts. Unwilling to sacrifice too much time, the Fang of Vengeance eluded the Theocracy’s defenders long enough to instead come to Agranoth’s aid. Matched equally with the bronzework sentinel, Agranoth danced away from the titanic golem’s grasp and spun strands of acrobatic escape. The sticky expulsion carried the massive attack spider up and over the walls towards the Sanguine Fist’s forces, intent upon fulfilling imperial need and recuperating. Taking the spider’s place, the Fang of Vengeance lunged forward to engage the bronze beast, his rune-dappled scales gleaming with the crimson fervour of undying hatred.

Eager to bring the battle to her prideful enemies, Lisha tensed her hindlegs and launched herself forward – up and over the walls of the Theocracy. With a savage roar, the lioness threw herself into the path of the Dragon’s adventurers, intent upon waylaying their forces to buy Amitivis enough time to battle the city’s metallic defender. The conclave’s warriors quickly adapted to this change of foe, though not fast enough to prevent the loss of several lives before finding their new footing.

Meanwhile, Amitivis issued a warding hiss as he gazed upon the sentinel, his fangs bare. The tremendous serpent lunged forward and sank his bite into the titan’s arm, a psychic grunt emanating from his unveiled thoughts as the golem’s other fist thudded into his bulk with the force of a hill giant enraged. The Dia’ruian glyphs upon the serpent flared to brilliant beryl light, casting fae impressions upon the city’s streets as snake and sentinel clashed. Jagged tooth met bronze fist and scaled bulk slammed against smoke-spewing legs, the two colossal warriors sending shudders throughout the city’s foundations with each blow.

Eventually tiring of this inhuman warrior, Amitivis threw the whole of his strength into a sudden slam against its metallic bulk. The sentinel collapsed to the street, giving the serpent enough time to depart from the brawl as he resumed his quest for vengeance. Even as the Fang burst forth upon the Dry Plains, Agranoth manifested another complex bridge of webwork that took him over the walls once more to engage in a fierce scrap with Spinereach’s adventurers. Once more, the Theocracy found themselves beset by a new foe – one that held them in place with webs and shadowy fire, ensuring the demise of several unprepared defenders.

Freed from her obligation to hold off the city’s protectors, Lisha turned her ochred gaze towards the sentinel now struggling to rise. A challenging roar escaped her throat, its resonance setting her tribal tattoos to a brilliant golden glow. She pounced forward, intent upon tearing to shreds this affront to the natural world. Swift and sure, the Accord’s champion lashed out with her sabre-like claws and scything fangs, scoring myriad blows upon the bulkier, slower sentinel. She looped in and out between the golem’s metallic legs, her assault coming from innumerable angles that set a dizzying pace.

Tiring of the Ascendant Huntress and her racing antics, the sentinel thrusted one hand out and seized upon her tail. The colossal defender of the Spires whirled the animal over its head and slammed her against the cobbled street, eliciting a yelp of pain from Gereghond’s great champion. In a flurry of blows, the lioness writhed free of the sentinel’s grasp and launched herself at its chest. The force of her charge toppled the giant construct, sending them both soaring to the ground in a frenzied tangle of metal and flesh. Stony spears thrust forth from the street to lance through the sentinel’s arms and legs, but this superficial damage did naught to slow down the bronze dreadnought. Flames spewed from its open wounds as it lashed out with its hammer-like fists, its autonomous runes glowing as if to emulate a berserker’s rage.

Having met her match, Lisha edged away and bristled, another snarl escaping her throat as she began to prepare another assault that never came, for a keening sound pierced the air and drowned out her predatory anthem. Flattening back her ears, the majestic feline warrior bound away from the fight and launched herself over the Theocracy’s walls in one last impressive display of her stunning acrobatics. His bloodlust tempered by imperial training, Agranoth took note of Lisha’s departure and spun out an escape route by way of arachnid grace and immense magical investiture. Upon strands of umbral night did the spider take his leave, the city walls no obstacle for one such as he.

The Theocracy’s pylon began to spin and whirl at frightening speeds, its revolutionary pace spurred on by a tremendous influx of energy. Screeching metal and normally stable ylemcrystal collided as the pylon’s power rapidly spun out of control. Arcs of ylemfire and violet lightning spewed forth from its splintering cracks, searing shadowy silhouettes of its bulky form into the nearby cobble.

As the hideous chain reaction began to grow out of mortal control, a sickly squelch echoed through Spirean streets.

Bursting forth from the containment chamber housing the wrecked airship core, a horde of Kal Kelerii jellies swarmed through the streets towards the city’s pylon. Even as ylemnic fission spiralled far beyond the grasp of even Delve’s engineers, the jellies feasted upon the devastating energies like famished beggars. The pylon unleashed one final, colossal groan as its spinning subsided, the catastrophic detonation averted by the sudden emergence of extraplanar force. Thusly saved, the Theocracy existed to see another day, albeit bereft of a fully operational pylon.

As the Alliance and their allied beasts departed the Dry Plains, the Theocracy called upon Fridhild to inspect the pylon – only to find that their familiar pylon engineer was nowhere to be found. Concerned with the ramifications of a broken pylon, Researcher Litrix arrived upon the scene and inspected the pylon’s inner machinery. After a cursory examination, the Xorali scientist concluded that the damage was highly precise and could be repaired – either alone or with the Free City’s aid, though he admitted that Delve’s help would hasten the process immensely. The learned scholar went on to explain that the only reason the city was not a crater at this very moment was due to the Kal Keleru inhabitants now swarming the streets, for he observed that the jellies feast upon ylem as happily as magical energy, ensuring that the surrounding area was not given over to highly lethal radiation.

The realm grew quiet once more aside from the buzz of gossiping commonfolk in taverns far and wide and the scratch of myriad bardic quills already committing this moment to the annals of history and imagination both…

Penned by my hand on Falsday, the 23rd of Slyphian, in the year 3 AC.